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LSU Superfund Research Center Fall 2016 Newsletter


In This Issue:

Highlights from the LSU SRP Research Translation Core Summer Programming

Dr. Kurt Varner Received Ken Moore Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University

Dr. Steph Cormier Named Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Global Partnerships at UTHSC


LSU SRP Trainee Activities

  • LSU SRP Trainees Attend University of Kentucky Event
  • LSU SRP Trainees Learn about Toxicology and Careers at EPA
LSU SRP Researcher, Staff & Trainee News
 



About the LSU Superfund Research Center

Our research focuses on newly-identified pollutant-particle systems, including environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs), that may form from the combination of pollutants and particulate matter, and their effect on respiratory and cardiac health. The ultimate goal of the research is to protect human health by providing information to be used in risk-based decisions on treatment options for Superfund wastes. The LSU Superfund Research Center is supported by  the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program grant number P42 ES013648.

Highlights from the LSU SRP Research Translation Core Summer Programming


During the summer months, the LSU SRP RTC focused on informal environmental science by incorporating hands-on activities related to such topics as particulate matter (PM) pollution and toxicology. These activities helped students understand how land-use practices, energy consumption, and consumer habits involving PM pollution can impact both human and ecosystem health. 


Highlights from 2016 include: Oil Spill Engineering and PM Pollution with Project E-STEAM, Tracking’ Toxins with Louisiana 4-H Clover College and LOST Camp, and Environmental Health Science Investigations with Big Buddy Summer Enrichment Academy.  Over the course of the summer, the LSU SRC RTC engaged with over 150 youth. To learn more about the LSU SRP research translation activities visit our blog.
 

Dr. Kurt Varner Received Ken Moore Distinguished Alumni  Award from Michigan State University


Pictured above (L-R) are Dr. Ken Moore, former head of the department at MSU, Dr. Kurt Varner, and Dr. Susan Barman, Dr. Varner’s PhD mentor and past president of the American Physiological Society.

Dr. Kurt Varner received the Ken Moore Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2016 at the 50 year Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Michigan State University (MSU) this past September.  The celebration included a symposium at which Dr. Varner gave a talk entitled, “Cardiovascular toxicity of environmentally persistent free radicals:  a unique pollutant particle system.”  Dr. Varner is the Lederle Laboratories/David R. Bethune Professor of Pharmacology and Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and the LSU SRP Leader of Project 4:  Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals Increase Cardiac Vulnerability to Ischemia.

Dr. Steph Cormier Named Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Global Partnerships at UTHSC


Pictured above (L-R) are Dr. Weikuan Gu, Dr. Stephania Cormier, Dr. Steven Goodman, and Dr. Steven Youngentob during a visit to Harbin Medical University to formalize scientific cooperation in Harbin, China.

Dr. Stephania Cormier has been named as the inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Global Partnerships at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).  The position was created by UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Research Dr. Steven Goodman to stimulate national and international collaborations in basic, translational and clinical trials research.  Dr. Cormier’s new responsibilities will include administrative and strategic coordination that fosters operational networks of interdisciplinary researchers.  In an email announcing the appointment, Dr. Goodman stated that “Steph Cormier was selected because of her tremendous interest in global partnerships, energy and ability to stimulate people to join in collaborative endeavors.”


LSU SRP Trainee Activities

 

LSU SRP Trainees Attend University of Kentucky Event



LSU SRP graduate trainees Xia Guan and Chuqi Guo attended a trainee event hosted by the University of Kentucky.  The first part of the event was held at Buckhorn Lake State Park in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky.  Trainees from LSU, Duke University, and the University of Kentucky participated in a mini-symposium where everyone presented their research using an “e-poster” format. The second day of the event trainees attended workshops on grant development and career planning.

The trainees also attended the Appalachian Health and Well-Being Forum held at Whitesburg, Kentucky.  The forum included a panel of community health experts including Dr. Linda Birnbaum director of NIEHS and the National Toxicology program. You can read more about the event in the September issue of Environmental Factor.



 

LSU SRP Trainees Learn about Toxicology and Job Opportunities at the EPA

 

   LSU SRP trainees met with Dr. Erin Pias-Hines, a researcher with the Reproductive Toxicology division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to learn about careers in government. Dr. Hines’ campus visit was hosted by the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) Graduate Student Organization.




 

 




LSU SRP Researcher, Staff & Trainee News

Dr. Dugas Presents at the LSU Biomedical Collaborative Research Program (LBCRP) Workshop


Dr. Tammy Dugas, LSU SRP Oxidative Stress Core leader, gave a presentation with Dr. Arthur Penn, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, on a new whole-body inhalation system that will more closely model “real world” inhalation exposures to airborne particulates containing environmental persistent free radicals (EPRFs) at the LSU Biomedical Collaborative Research Program Workshop on September 8, 2016. The research was funded by a LCBRP grant to Dr. Penn, Dr. Kurt Varner, Dr. Dugas, and Dr. Alexandra Noel and builds on research funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) at the Louisiana State University Superfund Research Center (LSU SRP) to characterize and synthesize environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs).
 

Dr. Stephania Cormier Gives a Talk on Asthma to the LSU Dept. of Biological Sciences


The LSU Department of Biological Sciences hosted Dr. Stephania Cormier for a special seminar entitled “Early Initiators of Asthma” on September 29, 2016. Dr. Cormier gave an overview of her research and talked about how environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs), initiate asthma and worsen disease. 

Dr. Backes Speaks at the 21st International Symposium on Microsomes & Drug Oxidations


The International Symposium on Microsomes & Drug Oxidations brings together top ranking professionals in the fields of drug metabolism and transport, pharmacokinetics, drug development, clinical pharmacology and toxicology and was held at UC Davis from October 2-6, 2016.  Dr. Backes chaired a session entitled “Organization of Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes and Their Redox Partners in the Endoplasmic Reticulum” and gave a research talk entitled “The Role of Membrane-P450 and P450-P450 Interactions on their Organization in the Endoplasmic Reticulum”.  Dr. Backes is the Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Pharmacology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and the LSU SRP Co-leader of Project 5:  Pollutant-Particle Systems and Xenobiotic Bioactivation.

LSU SRP Graduate Trainee Godwin Nwoso Successfully Defends His Dissertation


LSU SRP Graduate Trainee, Godwin Nwoso, successfully defended his dissertation “An Investigation of Environmentally Persistent Free Radical (EPFR) Formation in Contaminated Soils Using Surrogate-Based Model Systems.”  Godwin is pictured after his defense with his advisor, Dr. Robert L. Cook.

Dr. Menxgia Xu Joins the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at UNNC


Dr. Menxgia Xu, a former LSU SRP post-doctoral researcher who worked with Dr. Lomnicki and Dr. Lavrent, is now an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC).  Dr. Xu will be teaching chemical engineering courses including Separation Processes and Advanced Transport Phenomena.  He also plans to collaborate with LSU SRP colleges on research in the following areas:  development of novel monitoring techniques for atmospheric persistent organic pollutants (POPs), investigation of toxic combustion byproducts (including EPFRs), and remediation of contaminated soils and sediments. This is a test to see if white text can be used to help text align properly when the columns are not the same length.

Dr.  Ashlyn  Harmon Wins Third Place at the  LSU  SVM  Phi  Zeta Research Emphasis Day


Dr. Harmon won 3rd place in the post-doctoral researcher category for her poster “Reduced Lung Function in Adult Mice after Exposure to Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals is Preceded by Vascular Injury” at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s (SVM) Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Day.
Copyright © 2016 LSU Superfund Research Center, All rights reserved.
This is a newsletter to inform the public about activities and research going on at the LSU Superfund Research Center.


 
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